During May, American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, shares seven habits to help prevent stroke.

Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

  1. Don’t smoke. Smoking can increase your blood pressure, among many other health issues and it’s the no. 1 controllable risk factor for stroke.
  2. Manage blood pressure. Nothing causes more strokes than uncontrolled high blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure by just 20 points could cut your risk of dying from a stroke by half. A good blood pressure should be less than 120/80.
  3. Be physically active. A good starting goal is at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, but if you don’t want to sweat the numbers, just move more.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Healthy eating starts with simple healthy food choices. Learn what to look for at the grocery store, restaurants and your workplace so you can confidently make healthy, delicious choices whenever and wherever you eat.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. By losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, you are also likely to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  6. Control cholesterol. Reducing your fat intake, especially trans fats, can help reduce your cholesterol. Adding more foods with omega-3 fatty acids like fish and nuts, as well as soluble fiber and whey protein helps in managing bad cholesterol.
  7. Control blood sugar. By managing your diabetes and working with your health care team, you may reduce your risk of stroke.

Through the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke™ initiative patients and caregivers can find information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. For more information, visit http://www.StrokeAssociation.org/StrokeMonth.

We challenge you to join us on Thursday, May 16 at CycleNation Dallas to improve your health and support critical research to stop the cycle of stroke and heart disease! For more information, visit http://www.CycleNation.org/Dallas